Check this amazing video, “Izumo, Japan 4K (Ultra HD) – 出雲” on Youtube!

IZUMO 出雲 – Sunset in the Sacred Land of Izumo

Izumo – the land of the gods and their meeting place every 10th month of the lunar calendar.
Popularly known for Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine where the god of “en” (the ties that bind us together) is enshrined. A local delicacy which also happens to be one of the three major varieties of soba is Izumo soba, which is traditionally eaten in a three-tier lunch box style. Climb to the top of the oldest stone masonry lighthouse in Japan which sits overlooking the Sea of Japan.

Check this amazing video on Izumo (4K ULTRA HD) !!

Learn more about Izumo :




We welcome you to Shimane – the land of “en”- !

Some earthquakes hit the western part of Shimane on 9th April 2018.

However, almost all sightseeing spots and accommodations in Shimane are open as usual and welcome visitors.

Also all event listed in the Shimane Kankou Navi (Japanese site is planned to be held as scheduled.

We are truly delighted to welcome you all to Shimane.


At Yunotsu Onsen


At Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo


At Matsue Castle


Information related to the Western Shimane earthquakes of 9th April 2018

Information as of 2 p. m. on 11th April 2018

Influences of the earthquakes on the public transportation in Shimane (Part 5, 11th April, 2018)


JR Sanin Main Line
Between Izumoshi Sta. and Odashi Sta.
STATUS: Trains below are cancelled [PERIOD : 12th – 16th April 2018]
*Please note that no alternative transport will be provided.
Odashi Sta. to Izumoshi Sta.
[CANCELLED] 12:20 p.m. Departing from Odashi Sta. bound for Izumoshi Sta.

[CANCELLED] 3:05 p.m. Departing from Odashi Sta. bound for Izumoshi Sta.
Izumoshi Sta. to Odashi Sta.
[CANCELLED] 11:09 a.m. Departing from Izumoshi Sta. bound for Odashi Sta.
[CANCELLED] 2:32 p.m. Departing from Izumoshi Sta. bound for Masuda Sta. (Operation between Izumoshi Sta. and Odashi Sta. is cancelled.)

Between Izumoshi Sta. and Hamada Sta.
STATUS: Delay in some trains

JR Yamaguchi Line
STATUS: Normal Operation

JR Kisuki Line
 STATUS: Normal Operation

Ichibata Railway

STATUS: Normal Operation


[Highway Buses]
Iwami Kotsu Bus
STATUS: Normal Operation

Ichibata Bus
STATUS: Normal Operation

JR Bus
STATUS: Normal Operation

[Local Buses]
Iwami Kotsu Bus

Kasubuchi Line
STATUS: Route Detour (Oda Bus Center ~ Sakedani)

*Other routes are in operation as normal

Sada School Bus 
STATUS: Mixed Boarding

Hashinami Line
STATUS: Route Detour (Itayama Bus Stop ~ Yawatabara(kawa-kita))

*Other routes are in operation as normal

Ferry / High-speed Ferry

STATUSNormal Operation


Izumo Airport
STATUS: Normal Operation

Oki Airport
STATUS: Normal Operation

Hagi-iwami Airport
STATUS: Normal Operation


Information as of 2 p. m. on 10th April 2018


Onomichi-Matsue Expressway
STATUS: Normal Operation 

Sanbe-san-koen Road (Shigaku, Sanbe-cho, Ohda City) 

Sada Hachiman

Mitoya Sada

Beppu Kawamoto 

Ohnan Takamiya

Sanbesan Kouen (Ikeda, Sanbe-cho, Ohda City) 
STATUS: One- Lane Alternate Traffic

Yuunotsu Kawamoto
STATUS: One-Lane Alternate Traffic








HIROSHIMA – MATSUE 500YEN BUS (4/1/2018 ~ 3/31/2019)

We are proud to announce the continuation of the Hiroshima – Matsue 500 YEN Bus for this upcoming year!!!!

HIROSHIMA double_sided_arrow  MATSUE :  3900yen → 500yen (one way)

Take a three-hour express bus trip from Hiroshima and enjoy a lot of tourist attractions in Shimane. Perfect for a day trip to Matsue Castle and surrounding historical areas, or famous spiritual locations including Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine. Great news is this special offer will continue until March 31st, 2019!!

500 Yen Bus Hiroshima - Matsue

500 yen bus flyer back

How to Use


*Special conditions apply. Please read terms of use.
1. Head to a designated ticket office.
2. Tell them you want to use the 500yen bus between Hiroshima and Matsue.
3. Show them your passport.
4. Tell them your desired time/ location of departure and destination.
5. Receive ticket and survey.
6. Board bus at respective bus stop and time.
7. Complete survey and hand to bus driver at your destination.



Where to Purchase Tickets

HIROSHIMA : Hiroshima Bus Center [map], Swallow Travel Hiroshima (Ticket window near Hiroshima Sta. Shinkansen Exit) [map]

MATSUE : Ichibata Travel service (JR Matsue Sta.) [map]



Departure/Arrival Locations

HIROSHIMA : JR Hiroshima Station(Shinkansen Exit), Hiroshima Bus Center

MATSUE : Kisuki Highway, Shinji, Tamatsukuri, JR Matsue Station, Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station



Terms of Use

*500yen is the one-way fare between Hiroshima and Matsue. (3900yen normal one-way fare)
*Applicable for short-term foreign tourists only.
*No reservations by phone. Purchases can only be made at designated ticket offices on the day of or day before use.
*Passport must be shown at the ticket office to be applicable. No other form of identification will be accepted. (1 ticket per passport)
*Ticket must be purchased at designated ticket counters. Discount is not applicable when paying by cash on the bus.

Please note: All buses are reserved seating, therefore during busy periods seats may be fully booked.



sakura For more info about this 500 yen bus please check here!

Spring Festivals in Shimane 2018

Matsue Castle Spring Festival

Matsue Castle from under the sakura trees

Matsue Castle Festival 2018

Where:   Matsue Castle [map]

When:   March 24th – April 15th 2018 (7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
*(6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) sakura illumination

view from Matsue Castle


About:   The Matsue Castle grounds are known as a popular sakura viewing spot and has been selected as one of the 100 top sakura viewing spots in Japan. In combination with the food stalls that fill the lower entrance, visitors and locals alike are welcomed to come to Matsue Castle and partake in “hanami” (sakura viewing picnic). 


Matsue Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade


“Musha Gyoretsu” Warrior Parade 2018

Where:   Central Matsue, Matsue Castle [map]

When:    April 7th 2018(sat) (12:30 a.m.~)



About:    A parade to celebrate the founder of Matsue, Lord Horie Yoshiharu, which includes hundreds of citizens dressed up as samurai warriors and princesses as they walk through central Matsue to the castle. [read more]


Aofushigaki Ritual

Mihonoseki Aofushigaki Ritual

Aofushigaki Ritual

Where:   Mihonoseki Harbor, Matsue City

When:   April 7th 2018(1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

About:    “Aofushigaki” is a Shinto ritual that is held every year on the 7th of April. It is a recreation of the myth of Ebisu hiding himself behind a blue fence in the sea after conceding the lands of Izumo to the sun goddess. “Aofushigaki” means ‘blue fence’, which is what Ebisu is said to have hid himself behind when he retreated into the sea.


Sakura Festival in Unnan City

Sakura Festival in Unnan City 2018

Where:   JR Kisuki Station [map]

When:   April 7th 2018(sat) (10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Stage Performances

April 8th 2018(sun) (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) Stage Performances

Where:    Hii River Bank [map]

When:    April 7th 2018(sat) (8:00 p.m. – 8:20 p.m.) Fireworks

About:   During the sakura season the banks of the Hii river are painted pink with the blossoming of sakura from 50 thousand trees. During the day there are stage performances right in front of JR Kisuki station and when it gets dark a fireworks festival lights up the night sky. In the latter half of April the blossoming of “gyoiko”, which is a rare species of sakura that is green instead of pink, marks the end of the sakura season. [read more]



Washibara Hachimangu Shrine Spring Festival

Washibara, Yabusame


Washibara Hachimangu Shrine Festival 2018

Where: Washibara-Hachimangu Shrine, Tsuwano Town [map]

When: April 8th 2018(sun) Opening Ceremony (10:00 a.m)

Performance (11:10a.m. – , 2:20 p.m. – )


About: On the second Sunday of April each year, a traditional ceremony involving horseback archery is conducted on the shrine’s grounds. A 270meter-long horseback archery course is specifically built for this event. [read more]


Tulip Festival in Hakuta-cho

Tulips in Hakuta

Tulip Festival in Hakuta-cho 2018

Where:   Yasugi City Hall Hakuta Branch Office [map]

When:    April 15th 2018(sun) (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

About:   About 600,000 colorful tulips bloom in mid-April. There are stage performances throughout the day along with food/ drink stalls, tulips for sale, and much more.



Yuushien Garden Party


Yuusien Garden Party 2018

Where:  Yuushien Garden, Matsue City [map]

When:  April 7th(sat) – May 6th(sun) 2018 (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

About:   Yuushien Garden is particularly known for having peonies that bloom all year long, but during the last week of this event, (4/29 – 5/6), they will float 30,000 peonies on the waters of their pond. The last day of the event, May 6th, will be marked with Yuushien decorated with all yellow peonies. [read more]



The “En-Musubi” PERFECT TICKET is the perfect way to travel in Matsue and Izumo!


Welcome to Shimane! If you plan on staying in the Matsue and Izumo area for a couple days there is a “perfect ticket” for you. A special promotion on the Perfect Ticket at a new discounted price for foreign tourists will start on April 1st, 2018. The Perfect Ticket gives you free rides on Ichibata trains and buses, also including Matsue city busses for 3 days. This ticket also includes discount privileges at over 30+ tourist spots.




“En-Musubi” Perfect Ticket – discounted price for foreigners

STARTING FROM April 1, 2018

enmusubi-logo3,000 yen for Adults  →  1,500yen

1,500 yen for Children 12 ≥  →  1,000yen

*must present passport at time of purchase



Where can I get this ticket?

Ichibata Travel Service (next to JR Matsue Station) [map] Ichibata Train Stations (Matsue Shinjiko Onsen [map], Izumo Taisha-mae [map], Dentetsu Izumo-shi [map]) Izumo Tourist Information Center (Inside JR Izumoshi Station) [map] Izumo En-Musubi Airport Information Counter [map] Yonago Kitaro Airport Information Counter [map] Sakaiminato Tourist Information Center [map]

sakuraYou will receive a infomation brochure of the ticket written in English / Korean / Simplified Chinese / Traditional Chinese at the ticket office.


Where can I use it?

On any Ichibata busses and trains within Matsue and Izumo. You can also use it on Matsue City busses and the Matsue Lakeline bus. You can also use it on busses bound to/ from Yonago and Izumo airports.



sakuraAirport busses include  :
●Izumo En-musubi Airport <–> JR Matsue Station / Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Station
●Izumo En-musubi Airport  <–>  JR Izumoshi Station / Dentetsu Izumoshi Station
●Tamatsukuri Onsen  <–>  Izumo En-musubi Airport  <–>  Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine
●Yonago Kitaro Airport  <–>  JR Matsue Station


Ichibata Electric Railway English website :ichibata


Where can I get my special discounts at?

(1) Matsue Castle (National Treasure)  (2) Matsue History Museum  (3) Matsue Horan-enya Memorial Hall  (4) Former Samurai Residence (*under renovations till April 2018)  (5) Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum  (6) Lafcadio Hearn’s Former Residence  (7) The Tanabe Museum of Art  (8) Horikawa Sightseeing Boat  (9) Meimei-an Tea House  (10) Gesshoji Temple  (11) Fumon-in  (12) Lake Shinji Pleasure Cruise  (13) Shimane Art Museum (14) Matsue Shinjiko Onsen Hotel Ichibata  (15) Shimane Bussan-kan (Shimane Local Products Center)  (16) Ichibata Dining (17) Matsue Horikawa Local Beer Hall  (18) Matsue Shinjiko Shijimi Clam Center  (19) Yaegaki Shrine (20) Izumo Kanbe no Sato  (21) Yuushien Garden  (22) Meteor Plaza (23*) Adachi Museum of Art  (24) Matsue Vogel Park ・ (25) Kappo Onsen Yurari  (26) Shimane Winery  (27) Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo  (28) Kanko Center Izumo (29) Tezen Museum (30*) Izumo You-Plaza  (31) Izumo Folk Crafts Museum (32) Restaurant Camelia (Izumo)  (33) Izumo Tamatsukuri Museum

Note :  transportation fees to these places are not covered by this ticket. 





[EVENT] Matsue “Musha Gyoretsu” Warrior Parade 7th April 2018

Watch as citizens dress up in elaborate costumes and parade around Matsue



Click to see brochure (Japanese)

As winter comes to an end, the beginning of spring is marked with the blossoming of sakura. On April 7th  2018, Matsue will be full of brave samurai, princesses, and of course the founder of Matsue. Watch as citizens dress up in elaborate costumes and parade around Matsue as they once did long ago. Meet some of the most influential people of Matsue from 400 years ago, as they make an appearance in this annual event.


Matsue “Musha Gyoretsu” Warrior Parade is a re-enactment of Lord Horie Yoshiharu, the founding father of Matsue, and his troops marching through Matsue. Every year, many citizens dress up as brave warriors or princesses in vivid costumes as they parade around the sakura-filled Matsue as they head to their destination, National Treasure Matsue Castle.

VISIT MATSUE official website

musha-gyoretsu-2014 musha-gyoretsu-2014

PARADE EVENTS – April 7th (SAT) 2018   *ordered by location




JR Matsue Station 

Mini Warrior Parade 
When: 10:30 a.m. –
Where: from JR Matsue Sta. (A) to Tenjin Rotary (B)



Shirakatatenmangu-Shrine (B)

Matsue “Musha Gyoretsu” Warrior Parade Starting Ceremony
When: 12:30 p.m. ~



Matsue Ohashi Bridge (C)

Matsue Castle Rifle Squad Performance
Iwakuni Feudal Domain Rifle Squad Performance

When: 1:00 p.m. ~

Armed Forces Performance Exhibition
When: 1:30 p.m. ~



Matsue Kiyomise Shopping District (D)

Drum Performance
When: 1:15 p.m. ~



Shimane Prefectural Meeting Hall (West side)
& Second Castle Keep (Upper Level) (E)

Matsue Castle Rifle Squad Performance
Iwakuni Feudal Domain Rifle Squad Performance
When: 2:00 p.m. ~

Armed Forces Performance Exhibition
When: 2:30 p.m.~

Lord Horio Yoshiharu Victory Speech and Entry to the Castle
When: 3:00 p.m. ~
Where: Otemae



Matsue Castle

Japanese Dance Performance by Shinnosuke Fujima
Amago Drum Demonstration

When: around 3:15 pm ~  *After the Warrior Parade
Where: Umadamari Stage

Visiting Ceremony to Matsue Shrine/ Lord Yoshiharu’s Arrival to Castle Tower
When: around 3:30 pm ~  *After the Warrior Parade

*All above is approximate time. Please note that the schedule is subject to change due to the conditions of the day. The use of flash towards horses, drawn and tripod is prohibited for the safety reasons. 


Watch this promotional video about Samurai in Matsue!


sakuraMatsue Musha Gyoretsu Official website (JP)


Two New Routes to Shimane?

Fuji Dream Airlines will be introducing two new routes to Izumo Airport!

The two new routes will connect Izumo to Sendai and Shizuoka!

And with special promotional prices!



[Shizuoka 静岡 = 出雲 Izumo]

Shizuoka = Izumo Flights



5,555 JPY *one-way ticket purchased 45 days in advance for dates 3/25~4/27/2018

Start Date: 3/25/2018  



Flight No. Shizuoka (depart) Izumo (arrival) Flight No. Izumo (depart) Shizuoka (arrival)
FDA 185 16:15 17:35 FDA 184 14:30 15:40


[Sendai 仙台 = 出雲 Izumo]

Sendai = Izumo Flights



7,777 JPY *one-way ticket purchased 45 days in advance for dates 4/20 ~ 4/27/2018 , 5/7 ~ 5/31/2018

Start Date: 4/20/2018


Flight No. Sendai (depart) Izumo (arrival) Flight No. Izumo (depart) Shizuoka (arrival)
FDA 703 12:30 14:00 FDA 702 10:30 12:00



Explore some of the links below for ideas on planning your trip to Shimane.


Once a year for one day, the streets of Matsue will become filled with green as food stalls line the streets, filled with singing, dancing, and of course pints of Guinness. The encounter Matsue had with the literary great Lafcadio Hearn, who moved to Matsue in 1890, was the impetus for Matsue’s exchange with Ireland. Since 2007, Matsue has been holding Irish Festivals which also includes an appearance by St. Patrick as they parade through the city. Karakoro Art Studio will be illuminated green every day from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. until March 17th.


The main area of the event will take place around Karakoro Art Studio, but on the 11th (Sun), there will be a parade where St. Patrick will make an appearance. From 11 a.m. St. Patrick will take a ride around the Horikawa moats, then from 12:30 p.m. there will be a ceremony in front of Matsue Castle, which will then be followed by a parade led by St. Patrick to Karakoro Square. There will be food stalls and performances in the streets while the basement of Karakoro Art Studio will be redecorated into an Irish pub, where there will be live music and drinks.

Event Info

Matsue Castle (National Treasure) Green Illumination

2/27 (Mon) – 3/17 (Fri)    6 p.m. –10 p.m.  [map]

Karakoro Art Studio Green Illumination

2/16 (Thu) – 3/17 (Fri)    6 p.m. – 12 p.m.   [map]


BOAT PARADE *entry form required

Start: 11:00 a.m. from Otemae Hiroba Boat Pier
Boat fare: [Adult] 500yen [Junior, High school student] 200 yen [Elementary >] FREE

LAND PARADE *entry form required
Reception: 11:30 a.m. at Matsue Castle Tourist Information Box
Start: 12:30 p.m. (starting ceremony)

 *For those that want to participate in the parades, please fill out the form by 3/5 (Mon) and either fax or e-mail it to the address at the bottom of the form. (Link at the bottom)



3/11 (Sun)   1:20 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Karakoro Square


3/10 (Sat)   5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Location: Karakoro Art Studio Basement (old Bank vault)

Fee:  2,500 yen (one drink incl.) / *[presale] 2,000 yen (one drink incl.)


3/11 (Sun)   11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Karakoro Garden Terrace


3/11 (Sun)   11:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Parking lot next to Karakoro Art Studio


2/16 (Fri) – 3/17 (Fri)   10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (closed on Thurs)
Location: Karakoro Art Studio 1st floor


Wear your green, show your pride, drink some Guinness, and enjoy the live music and performances as Matsue become festive, for a weekend. “Sláinte!


Watch the parade recap from 2016:

onecoinbus_matsue<—If you are visiting Matsue from Hiroshima,
there is 500yen bus (one-way) for you!


Sanin Japan-Ireland Association  (you can download application for parade here!)
Irish Festival in Matsue Official Facebook page 

SL Yamaguchi Train Schedule for 2018

Experience a Steam Locomotive Journey

SL Yamaguchi

SL Yamaguchi-go Steam Train, is an engine model C571 steam locomotive train which runs through the unspoiled countryside between JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station (Yamaguchi) and Tsuwano Station.  Its beautiful black solid iron body impresses all the SL fans. And even if you are not a SL fan, your heart will beat just as fast when you hear it blowing its whistle as it comes by leaving a trail of steam and smoke. 

SL YamaguchiSL Yamaguchi, also known by its nickname “The Lady”,  is a retro five coach train with three different car style types.

Shin-yamaguchi Station, easily reachable by bullet train, is where your 2 hour journey on the SL Yamaguchi will start . It is recommended to reserve in the observation coach or open the windows to enjoy the lovely scenery, however, please be careful when you go through tunnels. Hurry back inside and close the windows, or you will find yourself sooty by the time you get out.

 At the last stop, the old castle town of Tsuwano will be waiting for you. At this time you can watch the SL train turn around on the turntable at the Tsuwano Station to make its return trip back to Shin-yamaguchi Station. 


SL yamaguchi

History of SL Yamaguchi

 In Japan, steam locomotive trains were put out of service at the end of 1960s, and steam locomotives on the Yamaguchi Line also disappeared in 1973. However, a lot of SL fans were eager to see restored SLs run again and it was then decided that the traction engine Model C571 would run again on the Yamaguchi Line.

During the summer of 2013, heavy rain hit Shimane several times, leaving damages across the western Shimane. JR Railway’s lines were seriously damaged and some sections were put out of service. SL Yamaguchi was also put out of service for a year and its absence was lamented by not only train fans, but also many locals and sightseers. 

The beloved SL Yamaguchi made its come back the next summer, running proudly through the unspoiled nature again and was welcomed by a lot of people.  


Operation schedule 2018
     *The operating schedule may be subject to change.

March – 24, 25, 31
April – 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30
May – 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
June – 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
July – 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 28, 29
August – 1, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 25, 26
September – 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
October – 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
November – 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
– 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24
※ SL Yamaguchi doesn’t run during winter, except Christmas holidays and New Year holidays.

Time Table
[Outbound : Shin-Yamaguchi 10:50 ⇒ Yamaguchi 11:13 ⇒ Tsuwano 12:59 ]
[Inbound : Tsuwano 15:45 ⇒ Yamaguchi 17:09 ⇒ Shin-Yamaguchi 17:30 ]

SL YamaguchiTicket Information
*SL Yamaguchi is a reserved -seat train. You need a railway ticket (You don’t need it if you are a Japan Rail Pass holder) and also need to reserve your seat in advance (Rail Pass holders also need to pay the fee for the reserved seat ticket). You can purchase and/or reserve your seats at ticket reservation office Midori-no Madoguchi at JR stations or major travel agencies . Tickets can be purchased from a month in advance.
The fare and the vacant seat conditions are available on the official website (Japanese) or by phone.
Customer support center : +81(0)570-00-2486 /JR WEST JAPAN Hiroshima Branch :+81(0)82-264-7420